Christmas Jam recipe
I love to make Christmas gifts, especially for the girls teachers. We put into the group collections but it’s always nice to add a personal something. I’m sure the teaches get inundated with home made stuff so this year I thought we’d go for something a bit different from our usual gingerbread biscuits. We made Christmas Jam.
The jam is really easy to make and you can substitute any fruit you don’t like for something you do. We love apricots and dates but not everyone does. As long as you keep the weight of the fruit the same you’ll get a great result.
My first attempt at jam making was back at the end of the summer with my rhubarb jam. It was so delicious and simple to make that I couldn’t wait to make some more – any excuse eh! This time I thought I’d do it the official way and with the help of Lakeland and their jam thermometer, seriously cute jam jars and some waxed circles I was ready to go.
Tim bought some mini jam jars for his grape jam in the summer so I only needed a few more jars to top up the numbers. I love these ‘Ball’ ones. Such a cute size and shape. The discs come in bags of 200 – so they should keep me going for a while! and the thermometer is fantastic! Not only does it have a temperature gauge in Celsius and farenheight but it also has markings for the correct temperature for other baking – jam making, sterilising temperature, frying fish or chips it even has hard crack, soft crack and firm ball temperatures marked- and before you think I’ve become a crack addict that refers to sweet making. I think fudge and caramel may be next on the list. I also like that it has a clip on the back so you can secure the thermometer onto your pan to stop it getting in the way when you’re stirring.
Christmas Jam recipe:
This recipe will make 10 mini jam jars of 135ml or 3 regular jam jars of 450ml
- 800g mixed fruit
- 150ml Brandy/Whisky
- 100g dried dates
- 100g glace cherries
- 100g dried apricots
- Juice and skin of 3 small oranges
- juice of 1 lemon
- 570g Jam sugar (which contains pectin) ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 200ml orange juice
- Place all the dried fruit into an air tight container and cover with the alcohol. Give it a good shake so all the fruit is coated. Leave for 48 hours to infuse or longer if you have the time.
- Place all the fruit in a deep pan over a medium heat and cover with sugar. Add the juice from the oranges and lemon and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Cut the skins from the oranges into small slithers and chop up a bit more then add them to the pot. Place a jam thermometer in the pan to allow it to heat up with the jam. Leave it in the pan the whole time.
- Continue to cook for 20-30 minutes so the fruit really softens up and infuses in all the spices and juices. Stir occasionally to prevent the jam sticking to the bottom.
- If using a thermometer bring the jam up to 105ºC /220ºF. Once this temperature is reached the jam will set. If not using a thermometer you can test if the jam is done by placing some jam on the back of a chilled saucers you have placed in the freezer. Leave it for 30 seconds then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles up it’s ready. If it doesn’t keep boiling for another five minutes and try again on a fresh plate.
- To sterilise the jam jars place them in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and keep at that temperature for 10 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs.
- While still warm spoon the jam into the jars till it reaches the top. Place a disc of waxed paper over the top and seal with the lid. Leave to cool completely.
- Where to store your jam: If you press the centre of the lid down and it moves store in the fridge and eat within 1-2 months. If the top of the jam jar doesn’t move when pressed you have a good air tight seal and you can store your jam in a dark place for up to 12 months.
So what are you making and baking for Christmas gifts this year. I’d love to know?
Disclaimer: Thank you to Lakeland for providing me with the jam jars, waxed circles and jam thermometer for this post. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are entirely my own.